Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban can’t stand San Antonio Spurs big man Tim Duncan. Thinks he’s boring. Doesn’t want to watch him play. Sick of his game. Wants him to stop dragging things out and retire already.
Actually, not really. The longtime Mavs owner would really just like it if the even-more-longtime Spurs legend would use the rest of these 2014 NBA playoffs to win his final championship, retire on a high note, and stop knocking Cuban’s Mavericks out of the playoffs.
From a recent radio interview, as caught by Tim McMahon at ESPN Dallas:
“I want San Antonio to win,” Cuban said on 105.3 The Fan’s “Ben and Skin Show” on Friday. “I want Tim Duncan to hit a game-winning shot to win Game 7, then go to the Finals, do the exact same thing, hit a game-winning shot in Game 7, run down the tunnel, never to be seen from again.
“I want him to retire on the spot. I hope he gets that last ring and it’s all the incentive he needs to retire.”
Cuban’s playoff teams, through various incarnations, have lost four out of six postseason series’ to Duncan’s Spurs, but even the more technically one-sided series wins for either team featured stellar play from either side and tough victories in the heat of what is typically an incredibly deep Western playoff bracket. A huge part of this is due to the presence of Mavs forward Dirk Nowitzki, whom Duncan predates in the NBA by a season, contributing his own future Hall of Fame production all along the way.
Mark Cuban did inherit the Nelson family, Nowitzki, Steve Nash and Michael Finley when he purchased the Mavs midway through the 1999-00 season, but after some initial personnel fits in his first season with the team, he’s done well to let his basketball people do the basketball work, while trying to stay informed as possible about this ever-shifting league.
That involves keeping up with the advancements of the Spurs, who are attempting to make their second Finals in a row and win a fifth ring with a roster surrounding Duncan that looks nothing like the one that brought home the hardware back in 1999, some seven months before Cuban bought his Mavericks. Though Duncan does have one year left on his contract beyond 2013-14, a player option for $10 million, he could very well decide that playing deep into June every year is a bit much at this point in his life, and decide to move on.
Though the Spurs topped the Mavericks in a seven-game series earlier this spring, such a Duncan retirement wouldn’t guarantee a greasing of the wheels for Dallas to move past the first round in 2015, but the team will attempt yet again to provide further, potential superstar’ish, help for Nowitzki as he goes for a ring to pair with the one earned in 2012.
As a fan without rooting interest, why can’t we have our Dirk and Tim it too? Continue to steel that Dallas roster with helpers, Spurs continue to act all Spurs-y with Duncan still in the lineup, and give us one more killer Spurs/Mavericks playoff series in 2015. You know, party like it’s 2006?
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